Saint Ignatius of Loyola Church Rome

Trompe l'oeil ceiling

The Sant’Ignazio di Loyola in Campo Marzio Church is located in the Colonna district in the center of Rome. It is called “in Campo Marzio” because in earlier days it used to be part of the district of that name, which used to be a lot bigger.

Saint Ignatius of Loyola Church Rome

Address, opening hours and admission

Address: Piazza Sant’Ignazio – Rome (tel. +39 06 6794406). Opening hours: ;Monday till Saturday from 07.30 till 19.00; Sundays and holidays from 09.00 till 19.00. Admission: Free.

Free guided tours

Every tuesday, thursday and saturday (with the exception of August) from 15.00 till 18.00 there are free guided tours of the church.

History and description

Trompe l'oeil ceiling
Andrea Pozzo’s famous vault painting

The sumptiously decorated Rome church was built between 1626 and 1650 after a drawing by the Jesuit mathematician Orazio Grassi and based on a project by, a.o., Carlo Maderno. It was commissioned by Cardinal Ludovico Ludovisi, who was a nephew of Pope Gregory XV.

The baroque facade was modeled on the Chiesa del Gesù and was probably built by Alessandro Algardi. The interior is characterized by a Latin cross, with 3 chapels on each side.

Works of art

  • Andrea Pozzo was responsible for the trompe l’oeil painting on the nave’s vault, representing the Entry of Saint Ignatius in Paradise (Photo © Theo Gallé). There is a marker on the floor indicating the perfect spot from which to experience the illusion at its best.
  • A second marker indicates the spot from where to best see the painting on canvas (also by Pozzo and again trompe l’oeil) that substituted for a real cupola.
  • The frescoes in the eastern apse are also by Pozzo and represent the “Life of Saint Ignatius”.
  • 1st chapel on the right: Altarpiece showing John Francis Regis and Stanislaus Kostka Worshiping the Virgin and Child.
  • 2nd chapel on the right: Francesco Trevisani was responsible for the altarpiece St. Joseph and the Virgin and for the lunette with The Last Communion of St. Luigi Gonzaga.Luigi Garzi painted the cupola.
  • Stefano Pozzi made the 18th century altarpiece The Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple in the 3rd chapel on the right.
  • The marble high-relief in the chapel in the right transept depicts St. Aloyzius Gonzaga in Glory to whom the chapel is also dedicated. Andrea Pozzo painted the ceiling.
  • Pope Gregory XV and Cardinal Ludovisi are buried in the chapel to the right of the presbytery.
  • The ceiling in the chapel in the left transept (The Assumption) was again painted by Andrea Pozzo. The marble altarpiece of the Annunciation is by Filippo della Valle.
  • Pierre de Lattre was responsible for the paintings in the sacristy and in the first and second chapels on the left.

Piazza Sant’Ignazio – Rome

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